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Thread: 1960s Portuguese shape domed back

  1. #1

    Default 1960s Portuguese shape domed back

    I was gifted this mando by someone who himself was once gifted it. He never learned how to play and stored it in his closet for the last 30 years. He said it was made in the 60s. It needed a refret and two cracks in the top filled, but other than that, it was in good condition. There is no label or name. But some "drop dead gorgeous" 60s wallpaper, as a friend of mine said, used for lining the inside.















    Since both the headstock and the fretboard ending are exactly the same as they are on my Perlgold bowlback from the 70s, I suspect it could be one of them. I know this style was generally popular in Germany at the time, though.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: 1960s Portuguese shape domed back

    Really nice Appolonia, I really like the back of it. Its really flower-power too.
    I was wondering, do you know if the front, dark wood around the sound hole, has an acoustic purpose?
    If it had been just plain wood all around would it have been structurally less stable?

    Nice Greek tunes too, Id like to be able to play that style of using one string up the fingerboard.

  3. #3
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1960s Portuguese shape domed back

    Definitely looks German to me: slotted headstock, zero fret, marquetry pickguard. There are many of these around; I've never encountered one to play, but I'd guess it suits your musical repertoire well.

    This similar one apparently sold for 130. Here's a vid of it being played (not absolutely in tune, unfortunately):

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  4. #4

    Default Re: 1960s Portuguese shape domed back

    Quote Originally Posted by atsunrise View Post
    Really nice Appolonia, I really like the back of it. Its really flower-power too.
    I was wondering, do you know if the front, dark wood around the sound hole, has an acoustic purpose?
    If it had been just plain wood all around would it have been structurally less stable?

    Nice Greek tunes too, Id like to be able to play that style of using one string up the fingerboard.
    Ha, isn't that the truth. All those old mandolins and bouzoukis have flower inlays, it seems. Do you mean the pickguard? That is just so that the top does not get scratched excessively (should be pruce, and the pickguard rosewood). I never heard of it supporting the instrument strucrually, no. Matter of fact, I have quite a few instruments which don't have a pickguard at all!

    Thank you for the compliment. The most glaring difference between mandolin and bouzouki playing is really that: Play across the strings, or play up and down the neck.
    My YouTube channel. My tabs and video lessons on Ultimate Guitar and GuitarTabsExplorer.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 1960s Portuguese shape domed back

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Definitely looks German to me: slotted headstock, zero fret, marquetry pickguard. There are many of these around; I've never encountered one to play, but I'd guess it suits your musical repertoire well.
    I do know that Perlgold and Hanseat, both from Eastern Germany at the time, manufactured a boatload of mandolins and citterns. Among many others, but those are the two makers that I keep finding.

    This one's sound is really between a bowlback and a flatback. I don't know if that is common for domed backs, or just my model. It's all mandolin, at the end of the day. But I do like these old folk styles much better.
    My YouTube channel. My tabs and video lessons on Ultimate Guitar and GuitarTabsExplorer.

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